Filming Piano Videos – First Take!



After quitting music school, I wanted to keep playing piano and learning more songs. I also want to share it with people, and keep a audio-visual record of the reperotoire I’ve learned.

I decided to film 2 piano videos a week due every Wednesday. Yup, that’s learning 2 new songs a week. It’s very possible with the flexible schedule I’m blessed with. I only teach piano in the afternoon-evenings when kids get out of school.

For this week I prepared two pieces. One 4-page Bach Allemande, and one 6-page Waltz by Erik Satie. The waltz wasn’t completely ready yet, although most of it sounds alright. Next week I’ll have it down memorized and perfected.

The Filming Process

I found a nice parlour room at SMU, my former University, and thought it would look classy for piano videos. A baby grand perched on a mini stage where I planned to film vids.

Since I didn’t have a tripod, I looked around the room for something to prop my camera on. Lucking there were a few sturdy music stands behind the piano, and the one I chose came up to a high enough level. I flattened it so it was horizontal and put the camera on top. Voila! Makeshift tripod!

My Mom was with me, and we were experimenting with camera angles. Do we film straight from the side? Or from the back to see my fingers on the keys, or more forward to see my face? We ended up filming from all three angles.

Then I thought of the cool idea to merge all of the angles into a single video. Keeping the best sounding take, and using the other footage from different shots and try to make it look in sync. I’m excited to work on this, because I’ve always liked editing videos.

Overall I played four times, and they all sounded better than I expected. This morning I was feeling iffy about my playing.. but the Bach came together! As for the Waltz, I played it once because it wasn’t ready yet. I just wanted to hear how it sounded and what to improve on for next week.

We were done filming in less than 45 minutes!

Choosing Songs to Play

I want to work on non-classical music too, so the music can reach more people. Some people might think Bach is too boring. Everyone has different tastes, and also my moods with music change like the seasons. I’m going to play a variety of genres… movie soundtracks, the Nutcracker, songs from video games, etc. It’s going to be fun exploring different genres on a weekly basis!

Now I just have to find the tiny USB SD-card converter to upload videos on my laptop. It might take a while depending if I find it or have to buy it later. But look forward to it!



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